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History

June 11, 2020

is an interesting thing. It can be read for entertainment. After all, there has never been a lack of human stupidity or related “interesting” consequences or events. It can also be read for education. That education can take at least two forms. One form is “these folks, and those over there, did something that worked out really well and for a long period of time, so perhaps we should consider something similar.” The other form is “those clowns tried and wound up well and truly screwing the pooch, so let’s be at least very cautious about even considering doing what they did.” All of which brings us to “CHAZ.”

No, not that one. The one in Seattle. Geez, stay with me.

A few things are worthy of note.

First, I would argue that Seattle political leadership has abandoned its responsibility to those who live in the area. After all, I rather doubt the residents and business owners there voted for those who are currently controlling the “Capital Hill Autonomous Zone.” I have read nothing that leads me to conclude that even those who support the protesters voted for such a thing. I’m sorry, but if I and my neighbors did not invite you in, then by what right do you propose to cordon off my neighborhood? I don’t like it when “duly constituted authority” does such a thing. Why on earth would I approve of self-appointed assholes people doing the same thing, even if I shared their concerns?

Second, the group seems to have exhausted its supplies of food, at least in part because of the homeless folks they invited in. Really? How was that not anticipated? Not because homeless people are necessarily anymore bad or leech-like than other humans, but because people who regularly lack food are inclined to get all they can when it is available. More than that, of course, is this: neither food, nor the means to acquire it, magically occur. We call this apparently unexpected lack “piss poor planning.”

Third, there are reports of “checkpoints” and extortion mentioned. If true, these qualify as serious crimes. Not because some people are armed, but because the wrongness inheres in the crime itself. Armed or not, “This is a nice place you have here. Be a shame if something happened to it,” cannot be tolerated. Unless, of course, you are a protester or self-appointed enforcer in the CHAZ.

Fourth, and this leads us to history, there are two arguably similar events to consider. The most recent, of course, was “Occupy Wall Street.” That exercise in “protest” lead to all sorts of joyous events. You know, like petty crime, human waste in the streets and far more serious things like rape. It accomplished…pretty much nothing. The other event to consider is the Paris Commune. It worked out so well…until it was put down rather decisively by regular troops. And, of course, one of the things people consistently fail to consider when it comes to any sort of revolution is this. Those who are successful in the early stages, are almost inevitably the first to be lined up against the wall, whether literally or metaphorically.

The most important things to remember about history, I submit, are these.

  • It has no “right” or “wrong” side. When it comes to history, teleology and secular, apocalyptic world views are for fools and Marxists (but I repeat myself).
  • History and its lessons care about neither the purity of your cause nor the nobility of your character. You can learn its lessons or suffer the consequences.

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